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The United States Foreign Assistance Reforms: An Overview

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The United States Foreign Assistance Reforms: An Overview. Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), 1993.

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government performance and results act gpra 1993
Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), 1993

Intended to shift the focus of Government officials and managers from program inputs toward program execution — what results (outcomes & outputs) are being achieved & how well are programs meeting expected objectives


Long-term goals

Annual performance targets

Annual reporting of actual performance

usaid planning framework
USAID Planning Framework

A compendium of separate documents:

  • “Policy Framework for Bilateral Foreign Aid” (The White Paper) & many other USAID policies

- how we work

  • Strategic resource allocation model

- where we work

Managing for Results

Results that USAID wants to achieve





USG Priorities

USAID implements programs & activities

Information to assess & improve performance

usaid core values
USAID Core Values



Managing forResults

Customer Focus




the managing for results system
Mission/Vision/Core Values


Strategic Plans







Activity Plans


The Managing for Results System
levels of results
Levels of Results


Strategic Level


Strategic Objectives

Intermediate Results

Tactical Level

(Inputs & Outputs)

Sub-Intermediate Results


joint state usaid planning begins

Joint State/USAID Agency Strategic Plan

Strategic Goals

Filter of Agency Framework, Bureau Frameworks &Technical Strategies

Performance Goals

Mission Strategic Objectives

USAID Operating Unit Strategy Statement

Joint State & USAID Planning Begins
standardization begins
Standardization Begins…….
  • Program Components
  • Common Indicators
foreign assistance reform timeline
Foreign Assistance Reform Timeline
  • January 2006: Secretary Rice conceptualizes foreign assistance as essential component of transformational diplomacy
  • March 2006: Ambassador Tobias appointed Director of Foreign Assistance (F) to oversee State & USAID funds:
    • Ensure foreign assistance is used effectively to meet foreign policy objectives
    • Align foreign assistance activities of State & USAID
    • Demonstrate responsibility for taxpayer dollars……..
foreign assistance reform timeline11
Foreign Assistance Reform Timeline
  • May 2006: New budget & planning process announced
  • June 2006: New Foreign Assistance Framework outlines 5 functional objectives & 5 country categories.
the goal of the foreign assistance framework
The Goal of the Foreign Assistance framework

Helping to build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that will respond to the needs of their people & conduct themselves responsibly in the international system.

objectives of the foreign assistance framework
Objectives of the Foreign Assistance Framework
  • Peace and Security
  • Governing Justly & Democratically
  • Investing in People
  • Economic Growth
  • Humanitarian Assistance
country categories
Country Categories
  • Rebuilding countries
  • Developing countries
  • Transforming countries
  • Sustaining partnership countries
  • Restrictive countries
foreign assistance standardized structure and definitions available at www state gov f reform
Foreign Assistance Standardized Structure and DefinitionsAvailable at
  • Each Objective broken down into
    • Program Areas
    • Program Elements
    • Program Sub-Elements
  • Standardized OP Indicators that describe whatwill be achieved at Program Area & Element Levels
an example
An example…..
  • Governing Justly & Democratically
  • 4 Program Areas
    • 1. Rule of Law & Human Rights

Program Element 1.1 Constitutions, Laws & Legal systems

Program Element 1.2 Judicial Independence

Program Element 1.3 Justice System

foreign assistance strategy country operational plans
Foreign Assistance Strategy & Country Operational Plans
  • Global strategy being drafted to amplify framework
  • 67 fast track countries have prepared a combined USAID/State Operational Plan
the operational plan
The Operational Plan
  • Operating Unit Overview
  • Program Area & Element Information
    • Narrative
    • USG, Host Country & Donor Activities
    • OP Indicators & Targets
  • Implementing Mechanism Information
    • Planned activities
    • OP Indicators & Targets
    • Sub-partners
organizational structure
Organizational Structure
  • Four USG-wide sector teams
    • Peace & Security
    • Governing Justly & Democratically
    • Investing in People
    • Economic Growth
  • Two cross-cutting teams:
    • Strategic Information
    • Management and Budget
unified usg planning
Unified USG planning
  • Country Team approach under the Ambassador
      • Political Section
      • Economic Section
      • Public Affairs Section
      • Department Of Defense
      • National Institute for Health
      • Centre for Disease Control
      • US Department of Agriculture
      • USAID
areas elements and indicators
Areas, Elements and Indicators
  • Program Areas, Elements & sub-elements must be selected from the “Foreign Assistance Standardized Program Structure & Definitions”
  • OP Indicators must be selected from a menu of standardized indicators – at least one indicator per program element
  • “Custom” indicators from PMPs can be incorporated into the operational plan at the implementing mechanism level
review approval processes
Review & Approval Processes
  • Each OP is reviewed by Objective by inter-agency technical experts
  • Overall OP review by Senior leadership to ensure policy coherence
  • Approval by Director of Foreign Assistance
the op and performance management
The OP and Performance Management
  • Indicators & targets established in the operational plan do not replace USAID or partner performance management plans
  • PMPs are a “best development practice”
  • Relevant OP Indicators should be incorporated into PMPs
  • Data Quality Assessments must be done
unified usg planning24
Unified USG Planning
  • Old terminology:
    • USAID Strategic Objective
  • New terminology:
    • Foreign Assistance Objective
some questions to ask
Some Questions to Ask….
  • Is there an adequate role for host country input?
  • Will what gets measured be the only things that get done?
  • Will the Framework better guide potential partners to design more focused projects?